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Super Spoungy yet Strong CNT Foam

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posted on Nov, 25 2005 @ 04:34 AM

Illustration of a nanotube array compressed to folded
springs and then rebounding.

In yet another interesting discovery, the same people who improved upon the Geckos sticky feet mechanism by over 200 times have come up with yet another wonder material. It's exibits qualities that shows it has promise in a multitude of applications.

"These nanotubes can be squeezed to less than 15 percent of their normal lengths by buckling and folding themselves like springs," says lead author Anyuan Cao, who did much of the work as a postdoctoral researcher in Ajayan's lab and is now assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. After every cycle of compression, the nanotubes unfold and recover, producing a strong cushioning effect.

The thickness of the nanotube foams decreased slightly after several hundred cycles, but then quickly stabilized and remained constant, even up to 10,000 cycles. When compared with conventional foams designed to sustain large strains, nanotube foams recovered very quickly and exhibited higher compressive strength, according to the researchers. Throughout the entire experiments, the foams did not fracture, tear, or collapse.

And their intriguing properties do not end there. Nanotubes also are stable in the face of extreme chemical environments, high temperatures, and humidity all of which adds up to a number of possible applications, from flexible electromechanical systems to coatings for absorbing energy.

I just hope that this time we do the Toxicity studies before everyone starts drinking coffie from nanofoam disposable cups.

[edit on 25-11-2005 by sardion2000]

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 10:00 AM
Heh no reply. Odd considering the huge numbers of applications this substance has. Airless tires are one I can think of off the top of my head, any other ideas out there?

posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 10:40 AM
An easy one would be bed mattresses...

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